No Awayday Returns for Maroons
By Roger Holmes
Reverse at Bury
And so to Bury for the 1st XV's first away outing of the season. After last weeks cobweb blowing exercise an improved performance was a minimum requirement.
In some parts they delivered on this; the work rate was vastly improved, the tight set-piece play was solid enough and the young guns in the back showed flashes of promise when they had the all too rare opportunities. All very creditable .
The good thing is, the problems in ball retention, communication and general sharpness will come and is eminently fixable with the right amount of application.
The injury and unavailability list is already problematic for the 1st team Captain Will Dickenson – who was sidelined for this one with a calf problem. Then loosing Matthew Furbush and James Pate in the dying minutes of the game will cause further head scratching come selection. Of the two, Furbush looks the longer term absentee with shoulder ligament damage. Cruel luck for the young centre.
Clitheroe book ended this game with a ten minute period of dominance when they scored all their points. A penalty kick for James Dickinson in the first half and a try from Sam Thornber late in the second.
In between times Clitheroe were mostly under the cosh and to be fair their first up defence was reasonably effective and kept Bury out for long periods. However their profligacy with the ball at times was exasperating and often put themselves under undue pressure of their own making.
Looking at the positives; the afore mentioned trio of Jack Stanley, Joe Wilkinson [so much better than the observing R.Wilkinson Esq] and Dominic Styler showed real promise and with careful handling will be a great asset for the Club.
The returning Lewis Riley, back in the top team after a six year hiatus showed that with a little more match fitness will add to the back row resources. Ben Graves who slipped back into the front row showed plenty of gas and added plenty of power at scrum time.
In at half back, the class that is Joe Weld-Blundell, fresh from the Italian Riviera, glamorous girlfriend in tow, made it all look quite effortless at times.
Lastly, the stand in Skipper – Sam Thornber – led the side well – it's easy to be captain when the team is winning easily, but you find out more about yourself in adversity, and he was fully deserving of his try.
In conclusion , the better side won on the day, so full kudos to Bury. Clitheroe must regroup positively during the week for a tough encounter with Ashton under Lyne at Littlemoor this coming Saturday [3pm]